Distance Learning: A New Reality
COVID-19 has changed learning and education forever. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, distance learning existed as one option among many. Now, it’s considered the safest method for education delivery in today’s current climate.
Embracing Distance Learning
Most institutions are being very forthright about what the classrooms of the future will look like. The traditional classroom will no longer be the norm; it will be an exception. COVID-19 has drastically impacted the future of learning. We’re quickly advancing to an educational model that’s digital and distanced, with everyone's safety in mind.
The Benefits of Distance Learning
Distance learning has many benefits. In a world where inaccessibility is no longer acceptable, distance learning is the perfect solution – it brings learning to more people, regardless of where they are. There are more benefits as well. For example:
- No commute
- Greater access to learning for all individuals regardless of location or ability
- Ability to learn in the comfort of your own home or office
- Makes practicing physical distancing possible
- Provides access to a wide variety of courses from providers all over the world
- Many people already own the technology required for distance learning, such as computers, laptops, phones, or tablets
Despite popular belief, distance learning can also be very interactive. Virtual meeting platforms, such as Zoom, have created tools such as chat functions, question and answer boxes, the ability to virtually raise your hand, and even interactive polls and questionnaires, to effectively recreate the collaborative feeling of a classroom or learning community.
BEST Safety Training is Bringing Distance Learning to You!
At BEST Safety Training and Consulting, we believe that distance learning will be the new norm for most learning opportunities…and that includes health and safety education. We are using Zoom to keep clients Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) certified and up to date on their health and safety training. The reception to our new delivery method is very positive, and for that, we thank you. Soon, we’ll be offering even more titles through distance learning.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is distance learning the same as online training?
No. Online training is asynchronous. Asynchronous means that it can be undertaken at any time. Online training is also self-driven. There is no facilitator. Distance learning more closely mirrors the classroom experience. You log in at a specific time, and the facilitator delivers the course in a manner very similar to traditional classroom teaching. Distance learning is essentially the same as classroom learning – without the classroom!
2. What do I need to run Zoom?
Zoom is very compatible, which is why BEST Safety Training is using Zoom to deliver health and safety training. You can run Zoom using a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. Most of this equipment comes loaded with everything you need: speakers, cameras, and microphones. If you aren’t sure, reach out to us. We can help you run a test of your technology to ensure you’re equipped.
3. Do I have to log in at a specific time?
Yes. BEST Safety Training’s distance learning classes are taught by live safety professionals, in real-time. Don’t worry. We’ll ensure you know when and how to log in to your Zoom training session.
4. How is BEST Safety Training going to make the training session interactive?
Zoom was originally designed as a virtual meeting platform, so it was built with collaboration in mind. There are chat functions, question and answer capabilities, and opportunities to speak using the mic/mute functions. Even when the facilitator has you muted, you can be seen, and see them. Give the thumbs up or nod when you’re understanding a concept; our facilitators love that!
5. How do BEST Safety Training and Zoom ensure that sessions remain secure?
BEST Safety Training takes reasonable precautions to ensure that training sessions remain secure. Every meeting attendee receives an invite to the session. That invite includes a unique numerical password. Our facilitators make every effort to ensure that only those with registered email addresses are admitted to the sessions. With the growing popularity of Zoom, Zoom itself is also always working on increasing security.
6. How can I ensure that employees stayed engaged while distance learning?
Don’t worry. BEST Safety Training is making every effort to keep the distance learning experience interactive, so we are sure that all participants will remain engaged. We’ll be using the chat function for group discussions, the Q&A function for questions and answers, and include several interactive polls and questions that participants must answer.
7. Can my staff share login information?
No. Every participant must have a unique login and email to enter the Zoom training session. This is also required for certification purposes. We still limit our class sizes even though the classes are virtual to ensure a quality learning experience for all participants.
8. What if I need technical support?
The team at BEST Safety Training is here for you. To ensure your experience is smooth and stress-free, we provide a “Test my Zoom” function. We will provide that information when we send your Zoom invite. If you still aren’t sure about how to set up the platform, log in, or use the functions, please feel free to contact us. Our facilitators can also help. We understand this is new and different for everyone, and that’s why we’re offering our full support to clients who train with us. Zoom also has a help function.
BEST Safety Training Can Help!
BEST Safety Training and Consulting is still your one-stop shop for all of your safety training and education needs. Distance learning is different and new, as are many things in this uncertain COVID-19 pandemic world we are living in. However, that doesn’t have to mean that your organization’s training efforts and requirements get derailed. We may be distanced, but we are very much still here for you.